This year revealed so many everyday heroes that chose to spread kindness throughout the pandemic. The Lockdown Hero Award looks to shine a light on these individual’s generosity and celebrate the cycling community’s response at this time of national crisis.
Whether that’s been delivering food, fixing or donating bikes, returning to work on the front line, moral boosting meet-ups, hang-outs or zoom calls, all of these actions have enabled more people to see the benefits of cycling to our society.
This category is not necessarily for the fundraisers, there’re Fantastic Fundraiser for that, although there is obviously some overlap. However for Lockdown Hero we are looking for the individuas and groups who used their bikes to help out in the community.
If you know a Lockdown Hero in your cycling community please nominated them.
During lockdown we featured some stories from the front line in the magazine, here are just a few examples to give you an idea of the stories we are looking for.
Bigla-Katusha’s Swiss Classics rider Elise Chabbey found herself in a hospital gown and thrust into a baptism of fire in a Geneva hospital, just a week after her home nation went into lockdown. A recently graduated doctor, who managed her studies alongside riding women’s WorldTour races, the 26-year-old found herself with an empty racing diary and a yearning to do something to help the cause.
“One of my professors told me the rush was starting at the hospital,” she told French sports outlet L’Equipe.
“I called them up and they offered me a contract that I could stop when I wanted to. I told myself I’d be more use helping at the hospital rather than staying at home and riding my bike. It’s more important than cycling right now.”
Royal Leamington Spa CC
The Warwickshire cycling club mobilised its members to use their bikes to deliver medication to members of the community during the Coronavirus crisis. They liaised with a local medal center to provide the service for clients who were self-isolating.
Club rider turned volunteer David Hudson said the initiative enabled him to enjoy “his two favourite things: riding bikes and helping people.”
Banbury Star CC
Likewise Banbury Star CC mobilised their members in a similar way.
“Banbury is a small town with lots of outlying villages and none of them have pharmacies,” explained club president Paul Dean. “I approached a member who’s a GP. They have a pharmacy who needed help, so it worked out really well.”
Since then, 30 members of the club have completed more than 300 deliveries, covering 1,000 miles. “It’s gone crazy – the pharmacies have been swamped for deliveries, not just from shielded individuals but from those who don’t want to go out.”
Pearson Cycles in Sutton, South London – believed to be the oldest bike shop in the world – provided free bike checks and services for NHS staff and launched a knock and drop service for those living within five miles from the store.
Located near several major hospitals, their workshop has been inundated. “We’ve done over 60 NHS and key workers bike checks and repairs. And every day we’re helping more.” explained shop manager Pearson. “We are offering all cycle checks and labour from repairs free of charge, only parts are charged for if required. We will absorb this missed income as we feel we are very lucky to be able to trade. Other businesses do not have that privilege.
“It seems right that we can contribute and support people in the NHS and emergency services.”
As previously, the Cycling Weekly Award winners will be nominated and voted for by you. Anyone is welcome to nominate the individual they feel deserves recognition.
On 05 November, we will announce the shortlisted candidates in the magazine and online, sharing their stories and inviting you to vote for your winners online, with voting closing on 12 November.
The winners will be revealed in our online virtual ceremony on 15 December, with guests joining us from around the world. Start nominating!